It’s been a tough few months here, financially, I’ve been so lucky, I am blessed with a great friend who supported me to be able to move house.
I have a tiny budget to do a lot of work and am trying to find support with some things, which isn’t easy. People think if you have a mortgage, it’s your own home and so why should you get support.
So you struggle, and it isn’t easy at all.
I do feel more empowered when I’m able to sort out my finance, but, with living on social security payments largely, I worry constantly and I check my journal when it’s close to the time of payment, just in case they’re taking something out or putting something in. It feels a bit sad really!
I feel like some people think they have the right to judge what I buy and how I spend the support money. I feel wasteful and think; ‘you don’t need that’, or ‘that’s a waste of money’. Could be anything from moisturiser to nice bread.
In particular at the moment, my internal dialogue when I’m shopping is really unkind and miserly. It’s so expensive!! So even the things I might previously have been able to justify are no longer an option.
It’s isn’t the worst off I have been, but I’m so afraid of the financial carnage of no support with energy costs and the cost just to live. When that is gone, what then? So I have to be extra careful… and I was already quite careful with what we had…
Not many new clothes, shoes needed but need to afford them, no trips out to anywhere paying, no holidays… there’s only so much imagination you have when you’re exhausted from just surviving…
Sometimes, people say that you can have adventures even with no money… I used to agree, but when that no money time extends so far into the future, there is just not enough imagination to make poverty into a Wes Anderson film anymore…
Specifically with the DWP, I personally dread the process of a change in circumstances no matter whether positive or otherwise. It's always a time of uncertainty, worrying how it will impact our finances. Also there's always the possibility any changes in my health will trigger another assessment which would be a real inconvenience to us. I worry it would be like starting all over again from scratch or it could take months to complete as I believe they are so far behind with claims.
Likewise the local authority has to be notified of changes in status or circumstances. I particularly feel the phrasing they both use to get their message across implies threat or significant consequences for not doing so urgently. i.e. "You must tell us immediately"....
Last year we moved house so I anticipated a bumpy ride in respect of my details needing to be verified or changes in payments. It's like throwing stone on a pond some create ripples some can turn to waves or some even turn into a tsunami depending on how dramatic the changes are.
I do remember feeling as though the DWP didn't believe me when they needed to ask for further documents to prove I was living here. How a tenancy agreement wasn't good enough proof, I just can't imagine, but they wanted more information and when you've only just moved house you're not necessarily going to have that to hand. It took time to change utility bills or update my bank account with the new address which especially in the days of paperless bills can take time to process. I mean it was enough of a mess switching energy companies, in order to have gas and electric supplies set up with my preferred supplier. Then internet and water utilities, never mind satisfying the DWP further than I had already tried to.
Not as though we can predict our futures, however, I personally prefer to avoid changes in circumstances at all costs.
My personal experience of housing and support is that I will have to consider downsizing my home. Where I currently live the house prices have doubled in the past few years. I am looking at living in a cheaper smaller town and buying a house outright so I have zero mortgage or rent. This will mean changing jobs and relocating. I am happy to do this have I have already done this before.
I had a job, but had to move away from my home town with my daughter due to domestic violence.
After 6 weeks the wages dried up and I was forced to claim benefits.
I had no idea where the job centre was based in an area I knew nothing about. The village was rural and the council office only opened part time. I had no house phone and no credit on my mobile.
I was told by a benefit advisor to walk 6 miles to the nearest town to the job centre, I didn't know which direction.
I went home and sobbed out of despair. I left a violent situation and nobody cared if we went hungry.
Word must have got out as 3 ladies from Gingerbread appeared at our door the next morning offering a food parcel and support with benefit claiming. They took me through application forms step by step. It took 12 weeks to sort out all benefit entitlement. I am grateful for this charity.
I'm not sure on the changes but as we have just moved money is tight anyway as had get carpets and still needed
Judging by the news I'm beginning to wonder whether there's an end to the cost of living crisis in sight. Or maybe I'm fooling myself? Spring's not too far away at least and with it warmer weather at long last. We feel in need of cheering ourselves up. Our usual treats are currently out of the question. I cant remember when I last bought myself anything new to wear or treated myself to a salon appointment but its been on my mind to do so a lot lately. I've been sacrificing my own needs over my son's for well over a year it seems. I'm trying to stretch money so far and in so many different directions in anticipation of a rent increase along with hikes in all our regular bills. I feel that the five pound I spent an a second hand wireless door bell is indeed a good deal for us.
My landlord appears to be full of fake promises. The latest of which is grant work to improve the damp and mould situation. I'm not holding my breath about it actually happening any time soon.
I'm constantly hoping we find alternative accommodation through the social housing list. We need more affordable rent as well as more security than we currently have. Having a disability leaves me vulnerable to rogue landlords who, amongst other things, can kick you at at the drop of a hat if they decide to sell up, So, hopefully, fingers crossed we will be moving before we face another winter in this current place.
I read recently the drop in living standards has reached 2 million and 4 million children continue living in poverty.
Families who are not already in poverty, are being pushed into it by a lack of action from the government.
I'm loathed to watch the news lately, let alone log on to the internet. You don't have to look hard to see negativity everywhere. Goodness knows how UC claimants will cope with the latest pilot for intensive work search commitments. As usual, the Government appear to be determined to make claiming benefits harder for the already poorest most vulnerable people in society. Shame on them and their decisions and sanctions!
I suffer with mental health anyway but it has impacted me in ways. And having 3 kids constantly hungry and a house move - it's hard
Hi… I have been so low… yes there are good bits, yes we move forward, but when you are not on a good income, EVERYTHING is hard. Every decision is tinged with the issues associated with being able to afford something, everything.
You can’t escape counting pennies and in fact that’s exactly what my boy and I are doing. How did we get to this? Again.
We’ve been here before in the FREEZING COLD, but it was because I couldn’t afford to replace or keep fixing my boiler and I had inadequate heating provision in my old and part refurbished house. Now it’s because I cannot afford to heat the house all the time. It’s high ceilings, poorly insulated loft and general issues associated, mean that there are significant cold spots in our home.
Less showers, less cooking, all means that we save money which means we get to do something away from the house. I also am loaned to the hilt due to moving house, and I just honestly can’t keep it going with the stress and worry so those escapes are essential. And especially for my son who deserves better.
Recently, I had my Universal Credit just stopped. Nobody told me it would be stopping and there were issues at the job centre. I had been charged with managing my sons SEN budget. Paying care and education providers from the money I received from the LA. I can not use it for anything else. But that meant that I had to take in proof to the job centre, so I did, they stopped my payment with no notice and I went under, guys. My clutch recently went on my car, £350, my kid needed clothes and shoes, the house had to have significant works to sell at a good price. Nobody would lend money to me at a decent interest rate because of my situation. People almost never call back from public services, you have to fight… the stress! I was literally turned away by every mortgage company in buying a new home, and despite me having the greater financial interest in my home now, the financial situation I am in, on UC and caring full time for my son, trying hard to progress in too many areas, meant that they could essentially pummel me into agreeing to things and them saying, 'yes, it’s a good use of our capital'! Less than half of the property value… but I am the one who has to beg and pay through the nose. Disgusted.
And inside all of this pressure is my son. The boy who I took out to eat as a treat with his friend, who said this is just too expensive… the kid who cares so much about fairness because he knows need. He is having far too much of an education about the word no and about the political motivations behind poverty and it’s long term searing into your psyche.
The government are a grotesque army of imbeciles who are greedier by the day. How dare they brush their heinous misuse of public funds under the carpet whilst they make millions of children far too knowledgeable about poverty and their decisions and inaction, their behaviours age the parents taking care of our children, precious time we should be growing spent counting pennies just in case…
We will get through won’t we? Not so much in the Christmas bag this year, but I paid off the credit from last year with some support and I can use it again, I’ll have to.
Take care everyone.
The latest jump in interest rate to 3% means my mortgage going up again - I have a part tracker and part fixed rate which ends next year. I’m still waiting for the letter to tell me exactly how much but this news cements the fact that my only option to keep my head above water, financially is to sell up and downsize to a smaller property. My 2 biggest outgoings by far are my mortgage payment and energy costs. Seeing these rise at an alarming rate this last year is causing me so much anxiety. I’m studying part-time in order to change career and work 3.5 days a week. I can’t fit in any more hours to potentially increase my income. I’m exhausted as it is. What keeps me going is the hope that this situation is just temporary and that once I have gained my qualification, in 2 years time, my earning potential will improve. I had hoped that when I set out on this path, that I would be able to survive financially for the duration of my course but unfortunately I have no choice but to go through the upheaval of moving and making my son leave the only home he has known. I appreciate that, I’m in a more fortunate position than most, due to equity in my home, that I have this option available to me. I’m a hard working single mum just trying to make a better life for me and my boy.